German Word of the Day: Blaumachen

The Local Germany
The Local Germany - [email protected]
German Word of the Day: Blaumachen
Photo: Depositphotos

A word to remember the next time you call into work sick. You don't want to be accused of 'making blue'.


Blaumachen is a verb made up of 'Blau' (blue) and 'machen' (to do or to make) and means 'to skive' or 'to skip work (or school)'. 

You're bound to know the feeling: when the alarm rings in the morning and you can't get out of bed. Maybe, just maybe, you decide to have a duvet day instead of going into school or work. 

It's unclear exactly where the term comes from, but it perhaps originates from 'Blauer Montag' or 'Blue Monday', traditionally a day when some tradespeople didn't work or didn't want to put full effort in after the weekend.

So how do you use it?

Photo: DPA

You could say: 

Sie hat blaugemacht und ist nicht zur Arbeit gegangen

She skived off and didn't go to work.

Der Schüler möchte heute unbedingt blaumachen.

The pupil/student really wants to skip school today.

Sie hätte bei der Arbeit nicht blaumachen sollen. Jetzt wird sie gefeuert.
She shouldn't have skipped work, now she's going to be fired.



Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also